The Neverending Quarantine

2020 has been an interesting year so far. I never in a million years thought I would be “sheltering in place” due to an out of control virus. It still feels so surreal.

I’m ok with quarantine… I have found all kinds of things to keep me busy, like painting rooms in our house, working in the garden and baking all kinds of sinful treats. It’s also been really nice having my hubby work from home. I do miss having a cup of coffee at Sweet Eugene’s, or a glass of wine at Downtown Uncorked. Small little things like that… that we’ve definitely taken for granted.

What bothers me, though, is the fact that my nephew is graduating High School this year and I feel like he’s losing out on so much. Senior Prom, senior prank, senior skip day… and maybe even graduation. He was on track to be Valedictorian, so if that ends up being the case, I am going to be SO heartbroken if there is no ceremony… no speech… He’s like a son to me, and I’m so proud of his accomplishments. I just want to see him recognized. We haven’t even been able to take his actual Senior photos. So, we figured we’d at least do some while in quarantine to commemorate this pivotal time in his life:

He’s such a good sport! We also decided that since we all have so much time on our hands, we would make a parody video. I mean, why not? We all love Stranger Things, so The Neverending Story seemed perfect!

I am so thankful for times like these. My niece and nephew are amazing people and are so fun to be around. They kept me laughing the whole time… it was just so much fun and something so memorable for me. He’s leaving for college (well, maybe right?!) in August, so I will cherish all of these moments… Thank you Quarantine!

We’re all going to get through this… just look for a silver lining. I know I have noticed several… it’s all about perspective!

Sweet Potato Curry (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I’ve been trying to share different things I make with Facebook lately, just to give people ideas about things they could try. Curry is something a lot of people have never tried before. I know I had never tried it before I met my husband. I’ve found that pre-made curry sauces can be WAY too hot for me, then my hubby ends up having to eat it all, lol. If you stick with a good curry powder and paste, you can control how hot -or not- it turns out.

Sweet Potato Curry

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Cup Quinoa or Brown Rice – cooked (you’ll end up with about 2 Cups)
  • 1 Onion – chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Sweet Potato – cubed
  • 16oz Normandy Blend (you’ll find it in the frozen section – this is a mixture of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – chopped
  • 2 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 2 T Curry Powder
  • 1 T Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 1 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 Lime – juiced
  • 1 Cup packed Spinach
  • 1 Cup packed Kale
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika

Here’s what you do:

  • Saute onion and garlic together until the onion is tender.
  • Add the curry powder and ginger and cook for about 1 minute…it’ll be fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk, red curry paste, veggies (except for the spinach and kale), smoked paprika and salt. If the coconut milk doesn’t cover the top of the veggies, add a little water until the veggies are covered.
  • Simmer until tender – about 20-30 minutes.
  • While that is simmering, cook your quinoa. If you’re using brown rice, start it before you start the curry.
  • When veggies are tender, add in the spinach, kale, maple syrup and lime juice – cook until the spinach/kale has wilted.
  • Serve on top of quinoa or brown rice.
  • Enjoy!

Black-Eyed Pea Pasta Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season! I won’t lie… we ate way more sugar than we normally eat, and our meals weren’t as colorful as they usually are. That’s what January is all about though, right? Getting back on track…

So, for our lunches this week, I made up some black eyed pea pasta salad and made sure there was a lot of color. This salad is very forgiving because you can really season it anyway you like, add or remove anything you like/don’t like. Plus, it stays good all week and tastes even better each day!

Black-Eyed Pea Pasta Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 2lbs Frozen Black-Eyed Peas – cooked (don’t let them cook too long or they’ll be mushy!)
  • 8oz Brown Rice Pasta – cooked (Tinkyada is my favorite!) – alternatively, you could use Brown Rice, Quinoa, Chickpeas…whatever you like!
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley – chopped
  • 5 Green Onions – chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – chopped
  • 3 Stalks Celery – chopped
  • 2-3 T Jalapeno – chopped (adjust to how hot/mild you like it)
  • 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes – chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Black and/or Green Olives – chopped
  • 2 – 3 Limes – juiced
  • Spices: this is really up to you! I use Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Tuscan Seasoning I get from the bulk section of HEB
  • Oil – I don’t think it needs it, but you can add 1/8 Cup of Olive or Avocado oil if you’d like.

Here’s what you do:

  • Cook the black-eyed peas and set aside to cool.
  • Cook pasta and set aside to cool.
  • Chop up the rest of your ingredients while the above are cooking.
  • Add everything to a large bowl and mix well.
  • Enjoy hot or cold!

Beyond Hamburger Helper (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I was SO excited to see Beyond Meat’s ground Beyond Beef at our local HEB. We had to drive a couple of hours to a Whole Foods to try it for the first time. It was delish, so, we were afraid that would be the case every time we wanted some. Thanks HEB!

I thought I would share the first thing I made with it. For some strange reason, I really wanted cheesy Hamburger Helper, so when you are vegan and you don’t eat gluten, you just have to try and make it happen. It turned out so good, I could literally eat it for every meal. Yum!

Beyond Hamburger Helper

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 Package ground Beyond Meat Beyond Beef
  • 1 16oz Package Gluten Free Pasta (I use Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals)
  • 1 ½ cups Almond Milk
  • ½ cup plain Almond Milk Yogurt (I used Kite Hill… any kind of plain non-dairy yogurt would work.)
  • 3 T Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 T White Rice Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • Dash of Chipotle Powder
  • A few cranks of Pepper
  • **optional – 1 cup shredded Daiya Cheddar Cheese (or any other Vegan Cheddar)

Here’s what you do:

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together everything starting at the Almond milk, down to the pepper and set aside.
  • Add water to a pot large enough for the pasta, and get it going to bring it to a boil.
  • In a large Dutch Oven or sauté pan, sauté onion and garlic together (in about a Tablespoon of olive oil, water or veggie broth) until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in Beyond Meat to the onions and garlic, breaking it into pieces.
  • Cook about 6-8 minutes. **Your water for the pasta should be about boiling at this point. Add the pasta to the water and boil about 2 minutes less than the instructions say.
  • Add the liquid mixture & the Vegan cheese (if using) to the meat & onion mixture. Turn it down to low, cover and simmer while the pasta is cooking… stirring frequently.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain, but don’t rinse.
  • Add it to the meat mixture and cook about 1 minute, making sure to mix it altogether really well.
  • Serve it with a nice salad, a slice of fresh bread (I’ll share my recipe for perfect gluten free bread soon!) and enjoy!

Goal Digger Bootcamp

Our first 2019 Bootcamp session is coming to an end on June 26th! Time flies, right? Not to worry, as we’ll get back to it on July 8th. This session will only be Monday and Wednesday evenings, as I know everyone stays quite busy during the summer.

The second session of 2019 is going to focus on Cardio and body weight exercises. We will be doing quite a bit of running. I know, I know… you hate running. But, if you want to lose weight, and condition your heart and lungs to be healthy as you get older, then running really is a great choice. Yes, it will be hot. Yes, we will sweat… a LOT. But, please don’t let that be your excuse to not work out. We’ll keep it safe and take plenty of water breaks.

Registration closes on July 1st, and there are only 10 spots available, so get yours in now! Visit the BootCamp Schedule/Registration Page for dates, registration agreement and payment information.

We’re a fun, motivational and supportive group and we would love to have you join us. Fitness levels are always varied, so whether you’re a beginner, or you’ve been exercising for awhile, you’ll fit right in! Please feel free to message me if you have any questions!

Yours in Health,

New Look!

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Hey Everyone!

I hope you are all having a great week so far!

I’m terrible about updating social media. I wish I wasn’t, but, the only time I really like being at the computer is when I’m editing photos. So, having two websites, two Facebook Pages, two Instagrams… I just decided that I would consolidate and have everything in one place! It may be a little unconventional, but, I’ve always been a little unconventional anyway!

For those of you who don’t know, besides being a Fitness Instructor, I’m also a photographer. I offer photography services for things like family portraits, weddings, graduations, etc. But, I also do it as a hobby because I love wildlife and nature. I’ve always had a creative heart, but wasn’t blessed with the talents of painting or drawing. I found that photography is a great outlet for creativity!

Migrating things may take a little while, and I’m working on domain transfers, etc., so please bear with me! One Facebook, one website, one Instagram… YAY!

I really would like to share more… recipes, photos, blog posts and this way, I think I’ll be able to manage it all better!

Stay Tuned for more content!

Peace and Love,

Sign

2019 BootCamp!

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Hey Guys!

It’s about that time of year again! Time to reflect on the year gone by and set new goals for the New Year. With that being said, 2019 BootCamp registration is now open! This will be our 6th year… time sure flies when you’re having fun! Registration will close on Monday, January 7th!

Here’s what to expect:

  • An encouraging, motivational environment.
  • Mondays will be: Cardio and Weights.
  • Tuesdays will be: Cardio and Yoga.
  • Wednesdays will be: Cardio and Bodyweight Exercises.
  • Groups rather and Teams this year. Typically we set up Teams and have competitions, but this year, you will be placed in Groups. This just means that your Group might be doing Cardio while the other Group is doing Weights. I’m sure we’ll throw in a friendly little game here and there though! 😀
  • Everyone is a different fitness level! Some do pushups on their knees, some do modified jumping jacks, some can out-sprint me every single time, some can only run a block at a time… this BootCamp is all about becoming a better You… and pushing yourself to do what YOU can do.

Here’s what I expect:

  • I want everyone to give 100% of what they can do. BootCamp is about becoming healthier and not about just “hanging out”. When you leave, I want you to be able to say that you’re proud of yourself for how hard you pushed. If I see you messing around, I might call you out! 😀
  • For you to show up. I understand that things happen and schedules get busy. I don’t expect perfect attendance from everyone, but I do want you to make a conscious effort to try and come as much as you can. I want to see you meet your goals. I want to see you proud of yourself. In the New Year, pledge to take this time to make yourself healthier. You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re sick in the bed. It’s worth it to take care of yourself!
  • No drama… I don’t allow drama within our group. Anyone promoting drama will be kicked out. We are like a little fitness family and I want the environment to stay positive, motivating and encouraging. I won’t settle for anything less.
  • For you to understand and honor the rules.

Some things to keep in mind: 

  • We will be starting promptly at 6pm. If you wish to visit beforehand, you may arrive by 5:45pm. I understand that running late just happens sometimes, and that’s ok. Just know that you’ll have to jump in wherever we are in the workout. I pre-plan all of the workouts, therefore; they are based on a full hour to include warm-ups and cool downs, water breaks, etc.
  • BootCamp is not a place for small children. There are plenty of things laying around that they can get hurt on… if we’re running, they’ll be alone in the driveway… I’ve had our house drawn on with crayons and markers… if you need an exception to this rule, please contact me before BootCamp to discuss.
  • If someone isn’t registered for BootCamp, they cannot work out with us. 
  • Your diet plays a huge role in your fitness goals. If you come to BootCamp, but don’t change bad eating habits, you’re not going to see the results you were hoping for. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
  • There are 12 spots…no more. I like to keep the group small enough that I can pay attention to everyone, and also be able to move us into the garage in case of rain so that we don’t have to miss any sessions.
  • You won’t be forced to have weigh-ins and/or measurements if you don’t want to. Everyone’s goals are different. If those kind of things are uncomfortable to you and will make you dread coming to BootCamp knowing we’ll be doing those, then you’re free to opt-out. There are a lot of ways to measure progress, so we’ll just choose individually what will work best for you.

The whole goal behind BootCamp is to be a supportive outlet to help you reach your fitness goals. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! If you want to register, then jump on over here and you’ll be set!

See y’all in 2019!!!

Yours in Health,

Sign